Resins- Classification,properties And Uses

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They are produced in resin ducts, which can be seen in the cross-section of certain plants. They are excreted through canals or glands. Plants produce them either naturally or in response to injury.

Resins are oxidized products of various essential oils, very complex and varied in chemical composition. They mostly  contain volatile terpenes. Man found the value and uses of resins very long time ago.

Physical properties

  • Insoluble in water.

  • Soluble in ether and alcohol

  • Rich in hydrocarbon materials

  • They are inflammable

  • They produce sweet smell


  • Hard resins

  • Oleo resins

  • Gum resins

Hard resins

They contain small amount of volatile oil, transparent, brittle. They lack any taste or odour. Examples are

  • Copol  from the plants of Caesalpinaceae family

  • Damars  from plants of Dipterocarpaceae and Bursaceae family

  • Amber  from fossils

  • Lacquers  from Rhus succedenia

  • Shellac  from Butea monosperma

Oleo resins

They are soft compared to damars. Examples are

  • Tupentine from Pinus roxburgii

  • Benzoin from Styrax benzoin

  • Balsam of Canada balsom

Gum resins

Examples of gum resins are

  • Asafoetida from Ferula asafoetida

  • Gukkulu from  Commiphora mukul

  • Resin of Boswelia serrata


  • Damars are used in incense sticks

  • Shellac is used for preparing moulds and used in forensic science

  • Amber is used as flavoring agent and used as bindi

  • Asafoetida is used as a carminative in daily food

  • Turpentine and benzoin are used as antiseptics

  • They are also extensively used in native medicine


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